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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – While we still have a few weeks to go until the official end of summer, parents should already start preparing for the upcoming flu season.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending all children six months and older get a flu shot.

“We want to try and get the flu vaccine for children as early as possible. So ideally you would like for your child to be vaccinated before the end of October,” said Dr. Madhavi Kapoor.

Last year’s flu season was one of the worst on record, 179 children died and thousands more were hospitalized. Eighty percent of the children who died were not vaccinated.

That’s why mom Jenny Carson said this year she’s not taking any chances with her three-year-old, Jacob.

“As a parent, you want to protect your child as much as possible,” she said.

This season, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending the flu shot for kids as the primary choice over the nasal spray. Experts say the shot has provided the most consistent protection against flu strains in recent years.

While no vaccine offers 100 percent protection, Kapoor says symptoms can be less severe for people who get the shot.

“You are far less likely to have complications from the flu and also be hospitalized as a result of the flu. So it’s much better to have at least some protection than none at all,” Kapoor said.

Experts also recommend pregnant women get a flu shot because they can pass some protection onto their newborn.

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